Nationwide Platforms has taken delivery of two new Volvo FM Electric 4×2 tractor units in what is believed to be a first for the UK’s powered access sector. The battery electric trucks form part of a larger order of Volvo models.

Supplied by Rory Kelly, Transport Solutions Executive at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East’s Coventry depot, the FM Electrics will be used to pull step frame trailers transporting hire equipment to and from sites around Birmingham and the north west.

James Clarke, Haulage and Logistics Director, Nationwide Platforms, says: “Sustainability is a key driver for the business, and introducing our first battery electric trucks is the right thing to do. Volvo had the product that met our sustainability commitments, and it’s exciting to welcome these new electric models.”

Commenting on the suitability of battery electric power, he adds: “We need the electric trucks to cover up to 150 miles each day on the routes they’ll be working, whilst also providing enough power to drive our ancillary equipment. They’ve been spec’d to deliver that and more, with a comfortable margin of power in reserve at the end of the day before recharging in our depots overnight. We are confident they will slip into our operation seamlessly, whilst also turning heads out on the road.”

The FM Electrics both feature three electrical motors, generating an output of 666hp and 2,400 Nm of continuous torque, paired with a standard I-Shift gearbox to deliver a smooth and ultra-quiet in-cab driving experience.

The two vehicles will be split between Nationwide Platform’s Birmingham and Warrington depots, helping to further drive down its fleet emissions while complementing existing and upcoming clean air zone regulations in both regions.

The FM Electrics have been fitted with Globetrotter cabs and a Drive++ package. They form part of a larger order, including Volvo FM 8×2 rigids and FM 6×2 tractor units. Together, they will serve as replacements for older assets in the company’s 170-strong truck fleet.